ROCKY RIVER, Ohio -- An accused serial peeping tom faced a judge Wednesday morning, charged with spying on women in the ladies room yet again.
David Coughlin, 54, of Cleveland, faces a voyeurism charge after police say he peered up at a woman from under a bathroom stall at the Panera Bread restaurant in Rocky River.
Police say Coughlin has committed similar crimes in five west side communities over the last 28 years.
One of his victims in 1990 spoke out to Channel 3 News to criticize a court system that has allowed a repeat offender to continue to terrorize local women.
The image is still burned in her memory.
"As I was in the bathroom, I noticed a face looking from the other side at me," said the woman, now 38, who wanted to remain anonymous. "It seems like it was yesterday."
She was just 16 years old when police say Coughlin spied on her from under a bathroom stall at the old Westgate Mall in Fairview Park. When the woman heard of Coughlin's latest arrest, the memories came flooding back, as did the outrage.
"To this day, when I go into a public bathroom, I'm always concerned about who's in the bathroom next to me," she said.
She's not alone. The victim from the Panera incident told Channel 3 News that she too, became angry when she heard that Coughlin was a serial offender.
"I wanted to kick him in the face," said the unidentified woman. "I wanted to repeatedly kick him in the face."
Since 1984, police say Coughlin's been caught in ladies restrooms at least a half dozen times. He's also faced multiple drunk and disorderly conduct charges as well.
"Here is a guy who appears to have a long history with alcohol and deviant behavior," said Michael O'Shea, Rocky River assistant law director. "The guy obviously never learned."
Prosecutors say Coughlin has had 32 criminal case files under his name in Rocky River court in the last 25 years, but since the charges are all minor misdemeanors, he's received no more punishment than a fine and probation.
"It's hard to throw the book at a guy like that when the most you can throw at him is 60 or 90 days," said O'Shea. "Perhaps it's time for us to get more serious about a guy like this."
His victims say it's about time.
"He's been doing this for at least 22 years and who's to say what he's going to do, or has done," said the woman.